When Salespeople Experience a Breakthrough

I write a lot about the challenges of evaluating, managing and developing salespeople; but what happens when one of your salespeople experiences a breakthrough?

Do you relax and think, “Finally. Now I can focus on someone else?”

Most managers do. However, as soon as you stop paying attention, the progress made can quickly become a temporary gain as your salesperson reverts to previously lacking behaviors and results.

Instead, praise the individual. Reinforce the success. Repetition is required to lock in a new behavior. Work even more closely with this salesperson to be certain that he/she continues to achieve as a result of this wonderful breakthrough.

Think Dog Training here. When the puppy finally sits, is that the last time it gets the biscuit? Is that the last time you praise her and say, “good girl?” To encourage her to continue this listening, you continue to praise and reward until it becomes automatic, several weeks, or even months later.

How long must you wait for the breakthroughs to occur? It depends on the salesperson. If you evaluate your sales force, you can get a great sense for who will improve, how long it will take, how much better they will become and what you must do to get them there.

You too can be rewarded for your fine work developing salespeople.